Sep 21 2013
Azzaman, September 21, 2013
Scores of foreign firms are exhibiting their products at a trade fair in Basra, the Trade Ministry said in a statement.
The statement said the fair brings together companies willing to invest in the oil-rich city, particularly in areas other than its booming oil sector.
“The presence of so many foreign firms – 60 in total – signals a return to normalcy and relative quiet in the Province of Basra,” the statement said.
It is the fourth trade fair in Basra and the statement predicted “positive consequences” for the impoverished province, which bore the brunt of the first Gulf War with Iran, the second over Kuwait and the third by a U.S.-led coalition that resulted in the overthrow of former President Saddam Hussein’s rule.
Most of Iraq’s oil output and exports originate in Basra, whose authorities are entitled to $2 per each barrel of oil produced from the oil fields situated within the province’s administrative borders.
Basra has one of the largest provincial budgets in Iraq due to the high volume of its oil output and is currently the scene of large-scale infrastructure projects.
“The fair will result in good returns in terms of tourism and economic growth,” said the statement. “It is a message from the provincial government that the doors to investment in the province are open to all.”
On the security issue, the statement said the province pays great attention to the issue and will do what it takes to protect foreign firms and their staff.
“We are keen to preserve stability and quiet so that foreign firms work in a secure environment to implement the strategic development plans undertaken by the Province (of Basra),” the statement added.
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